Congress approves seven new VA facilities in Florida

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate late last night unanimously approved legislation authorizing seven new major VA medical facilities in Florida.

The legislation, approved by a voice vote yesterday, included language originally sponsored by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) authorizing the General Services Administration to execute 28 new leases for major VA medical facilities around the country, including seven in Florida.

The new Florida facilities will be located in Daytona Beach, Jacksonville, Ocala, Tampa, Lakeland and two in Gainesville.

“We have a duty to care for the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s military,” Nelson said. “Getting these seven new VA clinics opened here in Florida will make it easier for some of our veterans to access the care that they need.”

By law, Congress must approve any U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lease that would result in an average rental payment of more than $1 million per year. Congress has not authorized a major VA medical facility lease since 2014.

The legislation authorizing the new Florida facilities was included in a broader veterans’ health care bill, known as the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017, which the Senate approved yesterday. The measure, which was approved by the House last week, now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law.

Here’s the list of Florida facilities and the amounts authorized for each:

  • A replacement outpatient clinic, Daytona Beach, Florida, an amount not to exceed $12,198,000.
  • A new outpatient clinic, Gainesville, Florida, an amount not to exceed $7,891,000.
  • An outpatient mental health clinic, Gainesville, Florida, an amount not to exceed $4,320,000.
  • A replacement outpatient clinic, Jacksonville, Florida, an amount not to exceed $18,623,000.
  • A replacement outpatient clinic, Ocala, Florida, an amount not to exceed $5,026,000.
  • A replacement mental health clinic, Tampa, Florida, an amount not to exceed $13,387,000.
  • A replacement outpatient clinic, Lakeland, Tampa, Florida, an amount not to exceed $10,760,000.
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About Jeff Cavanagh

Jeff Cavanagh spent his freshman year at St. Petersburg Junior College back in the early 70s before enlisting in the United States Navy. Soon after, he attended Jacksonville University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. After college, he was commissioned and became a qualified Surface Warfare Officer spending the next 22 years honing his skills as a ship-handler and expert recruiter before retiring in 1994. Jeff expresses a deep sense of pride in St. Petersburg College due to connections that go back many years. His father, Tom Cavanagh, was a career Air Force fighter pilot and combat veteran who taught Geography and Western Civilization at St. Petersburg Junior College in the 60’s and 70’s.

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